Turn your phone around!

We had a very lively discussion in the office this week about whether you should take photographs on your phone in portrait or landscape format.

Forget the cost of living crisis and the many other serious issues dominating our thoughts these days, let’s focus on what really matters!

The most interesting thing that emerged was the generational divide, which was literally black and white. 

Younger members of our team – those who’d been born with a mobile in their hand – were all horrified at the idea of a landscape image. 

Why?  Because their favoured social media channels – Instagram, TikTok – all favour/default to portrait images. They couldn’t even countenance a wide shot!

The debate raged. Those of us who still remember what newsprint smelt like still think of double page spreads in magazines, where a beautifully composed landscape photograph is overlaid with a compelling headline or caption.

Clean, beautiful and impactful design that gets a message across in an instant.

Ah, said the youngsters, you can still put headlines and captions on portrait photos … yes, you can but look at the state of this!  How is anyone supposed to take in, understand and absorb the key message with all the different icons, writing and distractions appearing on a moving image with monotone voiceover and music over the top? 

Let’s not forget that TV screens are horizontal and our eyes evolved side by side, not one on top of the other!  This is not a new debate and goes back to the Renaissance when the Old Masters had to decide whether to paint in landscape or portrait.

Surely, the subject matter should dictate the composition.

Perhaps the real revelation was that the older people in the room aren’t so willing to follow the rules imposed by the big social media channels.